Is the Internet a woman's world?
Once again we see numbers, this time from eMarketer, explaining that women outnumber men in the online world. According to eMarketer,
eMarketer estimates that there will be an estimated 97.2 million female Internet users ages 3 and older in 2007, or 51.7% of the total online population. In 2011, 109.7 million US females will go online, amounting to 51.9% of the total online population.
It isn't much of a majority, but if the online world were the US Senate, women would have enough votes to determine the outcome of most legislative issues.
The Media Report to Women also tracks women's online use statistically as well as from the perspective of issues related to how women are perceived in the media. If you look at the section of the report called Industry Statistics, you discover that women represent 14% of Sunday morning talk show guests, 40% of all prime time television characters, about 38% of workers in newsrooms, 25% of TV news reporters, and about 30% of the bylines in nationâ€™s top intellectual and political magazines. But in terms of internet use, women are in a slight majority.
On the other hand, an article in the New York Times today relates the woeful percentage of women who are enrolled in computer science programs. We're using computers in greater and greater numbers, but we are not taking control of the creation process that provides us with the software and hardware that we're using. The article points out:
Women received about 38 percent of the computer science bachelorâ€™s degrees awarded in the United States in 1985, the peak year, but in 2003, the figure was only about 28 percent, according to the National Science Foundation.
If the Internet was a car, then women use that car to go everywhere and do everything, but they aren't learning how to keep the motor running if there is a mechanical breakdown. Maybe all the power we want and need to make change is to be able to drive the car. Are women, as a majority of drivers, making a difference? What do you think?
One final note about something that women can get now that men are sure to want. Take a look at this computer Intel styled as a wireless accessory for women. I know some of the other Contributing Editors have strong opinions about marketing just to women, so I won't do more than point this out and see what happens.